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Inter Milan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Does a winter deal make sense?

Manchester United v SL Benfica - UEFA Champions League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United is fouled by Ruben Dias of Benfica during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester United and SL Benfica at Old Trafford on October 31, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

One of the biggest rumors surrounding Inter Milan’s upcoming winter mercato is some sort of deal bringing Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the San Siro.

These deals have ranged from swapping him for Joao Mario or just bringing him and selling Mario to someone else.

The big question is does such a deal make sense for Inter?

The attacking midfielder made a splash during his three years at Borussia Dortmund. From 2013 to his transfer to United in 2016, Mkhitaryan scored 41 goals and tallied 49 assists in those three seasons. His breakout year was in 2015/16 when he notched 23 goals and 32 assists for Dortmund, leading to his transfer to United for €42 million.

Now, however, the Armenian has fallen out of favor with Jose Mourinho and, after scoring 11 goals and five assists in his first season, Mkhitaryan has been relegated to the bench. He did come off the bench in Manchester United’s 2-1 loss at Bristol City in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup in England on Wednesday.

The biggest issue with this signing is like with any other signing … money.

Inter would love to get Mkhitaryan this winter on loan, but according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the club is reluctant to commit to a full buy after the season is over.

Another issue with Mkhitaryan, as our colleagues at The Busby Babe point out, is his ability to adapt to different styles of play. Going from Germany to England proved to be a bit of a stretch for Mkhitaryan. Of course, a lot of Mkhitaryan’s performance could be laid at the feet of Mourinho. No play, no stats, no way to impress.

That’s not to say that Mkhitaryan is a poor player. It is thought that Borussia Dortmund – his former club – would love to have his services back in their Europa League chances.

All in all, Mkhitaryan is a great player and still has the chance to do great things with his career. I’m just not sure that is at Inter Milan.

There are other options for Luciano Spalletti and Inter management to focus on during the winter transfer season.

For one, Stefan de Vrij would be a big signing even if he doesn’t arrive until June. Another potential is Paris-St. Germain’s Javier Pastore. Pastore, while would likely come to Inter on the same no guarantee term as Mkhitaryan, does have an Italian passport and would not count against the squad’s non-European Union roster slots.

This could pave the way for someone like Ramires to come over from Jiangsu Suning to take the one non-EU slot Inter has available. But, money will play a role there as it isn’t likely Ramires comes to Inter for free.

Whether Ramires comes to Inter or not, I still think Pastore is the stronger option at midfield for Inter. He seems a bit more versatile, despite only having four goals and one assist for the French giants this season.

The club has Financial Fair Play to think about and have to be cautious not to rest all of their eggs in a Champions League basket. While Serie A gets four spots in the CL next season, we aren’t halfway finished yet and there is still a story to be told.

I like Pastore in the winter and the team aggressively going after de Vrij for a free June pickup.

As for Mario, the biggest question is why has he fallen out of favor with Spalletti? I’m not sure it’s because Matias Vecino has played better, so something else has to be at play.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below in our comments section, or pen your own Fan Post.